British Rail Class 345

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British Rail Class 345
Crossrail, Class 345.jpg
An artist's impression of the Class 345 Aventra
In service May 2017[1]
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation[1]
Built at Derby Litchurch Lane[1]
Family name Aventra
Constructed 2015–2018
Number under construction 65 trainsets[1]
Formation 9 carriage sets[2]
Fleet numbers 345001–345065
Capacity 450 seated, 4 wheelchair, 1500 people total[3]
Operator MTR Crossrail
Depot(s) Old Oak Common[1]
Line(s) served Crossrail
Train length 200 metres (660 ft)[1]
Doors Plug, 6 per carriage
Maximum speed 145 km/h (90 mph)[3]
Weight less than 350 tonnes[3]
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC[3]
conversion to 750 V DC optional[3]
Current collection method Pantograph
Safety system(s) CBTC (Crossrail Tunnels / Abbey Wood Branch)
ERTMS (Great Western Main Line)
AWS / TPWS (Great Eastern Main Line)
Coupling system Dellner
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

Class 345 are a planned Bombardier Aventra design electric multiple unit to be built for London's Crossrail. A £1 billion procurement process for 65 nine-car 90 mph (140 km/h) trains with a passenger capacity of 1,500, and a maintenance depot at Old Oak Common was begun in December 2010. The contract was awarded to Bombardier Transportation in February 2014.


Background and specifications[edit]

In 2008 the UK government's rolling stock plan stated a requirement for around 600 passenger rail vehicles for Crossrail, expected to be similar in design to the Thameslink rolling stock, to meet the design improvement requirements of the 'Rail Technical Strategy' (RTS) published 2007, including in-cab signalling/communication including satellite and ERTMS level 3 technologies, regenerative braking, low cost of operation and high reliability, with low weight and high acceleration.[4][5]

The publicly released specifications included a passenger capacity of 1500, with 450 seated in a fully air-conditioned train no longer than 205 m (673 ft) with a top speed of 145 km/h (90 mph), and an energy efficiency as good as 24 kW·h per train-kilometre. Integration with Platform screen doors is also expected.[3] The contract included construction of a depot at Old Oak Common; the capital value was estimated at around £1 billion,[6] the total value may be greater due to the winning bidder expected to undertake maintenance of the trains for three decades.[7]

The procurement programme was launched in December 2010. The package valued at approximately £1bn was for 60 high-capacity ten-carriage trains with a capacity of about 1,500 passengers and construction of maintenance depots.[8]

Bidding process and funding[edit]

In March 2011, Crossrail announced that Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi and Siemens had been shortlisted. The initial bidding process was expected to start in late 2011, with a contract decision in 2013.[9][10]

In August 2011 the invitation to tender was delayed by one year to 2012 and the contract decision to 2014, with the introduction of trains on the Great Eastern Main Line expected from May 2017 (previously December 2016), with a correspondingly shortended production schedule. The delay was a cost-saving measure to avoid new vehicles being unused whilst Crossrail tunnelling was completed;[11] it also postponed bidding until after a review of governmental procurement processes.[12][13] Alstom withdrew from the bidding process in August 2011, stating it lacked a suitable developed product.[13] Concerns about taxpayer value for money on PFI funded projects led to Transport for London (TfL) seeking to purchase the trains outright.[14] In December 2011 the request to raise the debt ceiling at TfL to allow the acquisition with public funds was refused by the Department for Transport.[15]

In February 2012 an invitation to negotiate was issued, which included clauses on 'responsible procurement' relating to UK supply chain sourcing and training opportunities;[6] the procurement became politicised after Bombardier failed to win the Thameslink rolling stock programme, and said it may have to close its UK assembly plant (Derby Litchurch Lane) if it did not win the Crossrail contract.[7][16]

Formal bids were expected in mid-2012, with a decision in early 2014, based on the proposed product meeting the design requirements, and on value for money. Procurement is expected to be partly public and partly privately financed.[6] In September 2012 the government announced that it would underwrite a further £240million of the project cost under its 'UK Guarantees' infrastructure credit funding scheme, in addition to the 30 per cent of the project being government funded.[17]

Siemens withdrew from the tendering process in July 2013 citing a likelihood of insufficient production capacity in the production timeframe.[18] In December 2013 the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to provide loans to Transport for London for the rolling stock of up to £500 million.[19] On 6 February 2014 it was announced that Canada's Bombardier had been awarded a £1bn contract to supply 65 trains,[2][20] with an option for 18 more.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Crossrail rolling stock and depot contract to be awarded to Bombardier" (Press release). Department of Transport. 6 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bombardier wins Crossrail train contract". Railway Gazette International. 6 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Sources:
  4. ^ Sources "Rail Technical Strategy":
  5. ^ "Department for Transport – Rolling stock plan". Department for Transport. 30 January 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. 
  6. ^ a b c Sources:
  7. ^ a b Jim Pickard; Mark Odell (27 February 2012). "Crossrail tender favours UK". The Financial Times. 
  8. ^ "Crossrail seeks privately-financed rolling stock". Railway Gazette International. 1 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Crossrail confirms shortlist for rolling stock and depot facilities" (Press release). Crossrail. 30 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Crossrail issues rolling stock shortlist". Railway Gazette International. 30 March 2011. 
  11. ^ "Update on Crossrail rolling stock and depot procurement" (Press release). Crossrail. 30 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Sources:
  13. ^ a b Robert Wright; Helen Warrell (30 August 2011). "Alstom quits delayed Crossrail bids". Financial Times. 
  14. ^ Sources:
  15. ^ Dan Milmo (11 December 2011). "Minister blocks Boris Johnson's plan to fund £1bn Crossrail project". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ Sources:
  17. ^ Sources:
  18. ^ "Crossrail rolling stock procurement" (Press release). Siemens. 5 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "EIB provides £500m loan for Crossrail trains". Railway Gazette International. 13 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "Bombardier wins £1bn Crossrail deal". BBC News. 6 February 2014. 

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